From the Field: Tropical Mockingbird

June 22, 2018

 

Tropical Mockingbird is resident from southern Mexico to northern Brazil, and in West Indies and other Caribbean Islands. The original range was southern Mexico south to Honduras, and again in northern South America, but with a gap from central Honduras south to Colombia. In the 1930s, however, an introduced population was discovered in central Panama.  

 

Tropical Mockingbird is a medium sized bird with grey upperparts and pale white underparts. Dark patch around the yellow eyes and pretty long black tail. Occupies open habitats with scattered shrubs and trees, and readily colonizes towns and gardens.

 

It forages near or on the ground, runs swiftly, and stops suddenly with its tail pointed up. This species eats insects, small vertebrates and likes fruits. 

 

Tropical Mockingbird nests are parasitized by Shiny Cowbirds. But this species has probably benefited from some human works, as clearance of forests and well-watered suburbs. It may be common and abundant in suitable habitat.

 

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